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‘We are not doing enough to slow the spread at this point’: Wesley CEO, doctor speak about rising COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The president and chief executive officer and chief medical officer of Wesley Medical Center spoke before the Sedgwick County Commission on Wednesday morning about the increase of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

Wesley Medical Center is one hospital that serves Wichita and southcentral Kansas.

Right now, the hospital says they are caring for 150 COVID-19 patients and nearly 37 of those patients are 10 days post positive rate.

“We are seeing one out 10 admissions to the hospital that have COVID-19 do not leave alive,” Bill Volach, Wesley president and CEO, told commissioners. “Ten percent of our population that comes to the hospital are dying.”

Volach added that more needs to be done as a community.

“We are not doing enough to slow the spread at this point.”

The hospital is looking to open additional beds, fly in nurses, and even doctors. Already, the hospital said beds are full and patients are waiting in the emergency room. They are also expecting admissions for COVID-19 to further rise with the upcoming holidays.

“I’m very concerned that even the 200 number is not the top,” said Volach. “What if it is 300, what if it is 400 as we get into Christmas and further. I don’t know that. With the positivity rate and projections, we are showing, we can only project out about the next three weeks.”

The hospital is expecting a jump of least 60 more patients in the next 30 days.

Wesley medical staff is suggesting that bars and large venues that hold weddings be closed, restaurants should go to take-out only, no club sports or sports gatherings should be held, and any other gathering should be 10 or fewer.

“Family gatherings should be your immediate family only,” said Dr. Lowell Ebersole, Wesley’s chief medical officer.

Commissioners did not take any action on the matter today but asked the CEO and doctor questions.

Currently, Sedgwick County has a health order in place through December that has bars closing at 11 p.m. and puts limits on restaurant capacity and mass gatherings.

You can watch the full commission meeting below.

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